Just before DeKalb County government managers began packing for picnics and beach trips last week, interim CEO Lee May sent word: Each department is to cut 5 percent from its current-year spending for the 2014 budget.
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Lee May’s agenda
Delay of the trial of suspended DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis has given Interim CEO Lee May significant sway over the county’s budget and legislative agenda — which could mean dramatic changes for the county down the road.
First up, May’s 2014 budget priorities: Cutting 5 percent of spending from the $560 million budget. Much of the $28 million would be funneled into raises and additional hiring of police and firefighters, with smaller amounts going toward other employee raises and building an economic development plan.
The 2014 legislative agenda is expected to include requests for a public vote on eliminating the CEO form of government and making other changes to shrink government. The county also supports creating “annexation zones” that, along with new cities, wouldreduce the number of people who rely on DeKalb for daily government services.
May is working with the county commission on the budget recommendation and legislative wish list, both of which will be finalized later this year. He plans to reach out to leaders of cities and would-be cities in the county in September, to discuss future city borders.